Texas roadways are used by millions every single day. Traffic tickets and minor auto accidents are not uncommon, but sometimes, drivers make mistakes that lead to the death of another driver or passenger. When this happens, they may find themselves at risk of being convicted of vehicular homicide or manslaughter.
Drivers involved in deadly car accidents can experience unbearable grief and trauma once they have time to process the situation. Dealing with vehicular homicide charges will only exacerbate this agony. Because of this, it is important for individuals who have been charged with or accused of this crime to hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Being convicted of a crime as serious as vehicular homicide will undoubtedly have lifelong consequences. Jail time, loss of driver’s license, and court-mandated fines are some of the most common consequences of this crime, but there is so, so much more that alleged offenders will have to deal with. Many individuals report loss of employment, inability to hold public office, and permanently broken relationships as some of the collateral consequences of being convicted of this crime.
If you have been charged with vehicular homicide and you live in Denton, Wise, Tarrant, or one of the many other counties in the area, fight for your freedom and hire The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy as soon as possible. Richard C. McConathy is an experienced criminal defense attorney with a proven track record of reducing and dismissing criminal charges. For more information on how we can assist you, call us today at 940-222-8004 to schedule a free consultation with one of our in-house legal experts.
● Definition of Vehicular Homicide
● Consequences of Vehicular Homicide Convictions
● Resources for Vehicular Homicide in Denton, Texas
While there is no specific Texas statute that defines vehicular homicide, there are many other statutes that define manslaughter and criminal homicide. As a direct result of the existence of these statutes, individuals in Texas can still be charged with vehicular homicide.
According to Texas Penal Code 19.04, an individual is guilty of manslaughter if they recklessly cause the death of another individual. The same statute defines criminal homicide as a person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently causing the death of another individual. In the state to Texas, an individual can be charged with vehicular manslaughter if they reportedly caused the death of another while operating a motor vehicle.
Vehicular manslaughter can be as severe as a first-degree felony, or it can be classified as a mere class A misdemeanor. When it comes to this crime, the consequence is largely dependent upon the severity of the offense, the alleged offender’s criminal history, and whether or not they are a habitual offender of traffic violations.
According to Texas Penal Code Chapter 12, a Class A misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter can cause an individual to be subject to a 1-year prison sentence in addition to being forced to pay a fine not to exceed $4,000. If this crime is classified as a state jail felony, a conviction will cause the individual to pay a fine not to exceed $10,000 while being subject to a jail sentence ranging from 180 days to 2 years.
The penalties of vehicular manslaughter will greatly increase if it is classified as a third-degree, second-degree, or first-degree felony.
If this offense is classified as a third-degree felony, offenders can expect to serve a minimum prison sentence of 2 years, with a maximum sentence being 10 years behind bars. In addition to this, they will be ordered to pay a fine of up to $10,000. Second-degree felony vehicular manslaughter convictions have the same maximum fine amount, but offenders will have to serve a minimum 2-year prison sentence (and a maximum of 20 years). Lastly, if convicted of first-degree vehicular homicide, individuals can expect to face a prison sentence ranging from 5 to 99 years, potential life imprisonment, and a fine that may be as expensive as $10,000.
Texas Transportation Code: Chapter 550 - This link takes you to Chapter 500 of the Texas Transportation Code. Here, you can learn more about the accidents, accident reports, and how drivers should conduct themselves after an auto accident has taken place on a Texas highway or public place.
Texas Penal Code: Chapter 19 - This link takes you to the Texas Penal Code, where you can learn more about the laws and regulations of the state of Texas. In Chapter 19, you can learn more about the official definitions of terms such as criminal homicide, murder, capital murder, manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide.
Vehicular homicide / manslaughter charges can completely take over your future. Individuals struggle to resume regular life after being convicted of this type of charge, and many lose years of their lives behind bars. This one of the many reasons why it is crucial for you to contact a criminal defense attorney once you are notified of your charges.
The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy understand the severity of these criminal charges, and we understand the effects they can have on defendants. For years, we have helped countless Texans defend themselves against criminal charges such as manslaughter and criminal homicide. Our lawyers and legal experts are here to make sure you are properly taken care of throughout every step of this arduous process, and we are always ready to defend your name in a court of law.
Hesitating and putting off the process of contacting a criminal defense attorney will only hurt your case. If you are trying to fight your charges, give yourself the best chance at a favorable outcome by contacting The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy. For more information on how we can help you, call us today at 940-222-8004 to receive a free consultation.